Oman’s first Sharia-compliant, alcohol-free, five-star hotel, the Muscat Grand Millennium Hotel, will open next year, it was reported.
In the latest company to cash-in on the new concept for the sultanate, The Shaza Muscat Company (SMC) on Tuesday signed an agreement with Millennium and Copthorne Hotels for the management and operation of the property, according to the Times of Oman.
“Alcohol will not be served in the hotel since it is a Sharia-compliant hotel,” Abdul Rahman Awadh Barham, a board member of SMC, was quoted as saying by the Times.
“This is not downgrading the hotel by any means, rather it is upgrading it to a better lifestyle. It is going to be a family and business hotel.”
The hotel will also comprise a 1,250 sqm ballroom with capacity for up to 1,000 guests in addition to a large pre-function room, VIP rooms and Majlis.
In addition, it will have eight dedicated board rooms and meeting rooms for corporate events and two full sized swimming pools.
The Times said an estimated $72.72m (OMR28m) would be spent building the five-star offering, which will be about 16 km from both the Muscat International Airport and the Central Business District.
“We have two Sharia-compliant properties in Dubai, which are extremely successful. This is our third such hotel in the GCC region,” said Ramsay Rankoussi, Manager Development and Planning and Asset Management Middle East and Africa.
Rankoussi said Sharia-compliant properties had a specific market, mainly in the GCC region.
Hotels in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are Sharia-compliant by law.
“We are trying to develop a lasting relationship with companies that own properties. We want to respect the culture and Islamic heritage,” he said.
The hotel will be located next to the Muscat Grand Mall, which will be connected to the hotel through a sky bridge.
“Muscat continues to grow as an attractive tourist destination in the region, and the way forward is to cater to this burgeoning market by offering a full lifestyle and retail experience that meets not only regional, but also global expectations,” said Khamis Mubarak Al Kiyumi, chairman of SMC.